OTTAWA, Ontario (LifeSiteNews) — Former Governor General David Johnston, whom Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed as “special rapporteur” in March, has concluded there should not be a public inquiry to investigate alleged Communist Chinese Party (CCP) election meddling, because the matter could involve divulging state secrets.
“I began with an inclination towards recommending a public inquiry, however, as I have undertaken the review process, I asked myself repeatedly what purpose a public inquiry could serve for Canadians in light of the restrictions on the material that would need to be before the commissioner,” wrote Johnston in his “First Report” on “Foreign Interference” released Tuesday, which totaled 55 pages in length.
“I have concluded it would not serve a useful purpose to enhance trust,” he added.
Johnston noted that foregoing a public inquiry is “necessary to protect our national security, the sources our intelligence agencies rely on, and our obligations to the Five Eyes partners.”
While there will be no public inquiry, he did note that “further government process is required” to investigate the allegations of Chinese interference in Canadian politics, which might include a “a series of public hearings with Canadians.”
At a press conference Tuesday in Ottawa, Johnston said that foreign government interference does indeed take place and is a “real and growing threat.”
However, he then claimed that the media had “misconstrued” their news reports relating to Chinese election meddling in Canada.
He then took a shot at what he said were “serious shortcomings” from Canada’s intelligence agency when relaying information to the federal government.
Johnston, at the press conference, claimed that people will be skeptical of his findings, but that these same people “raise legitimate issues.”
In his report, Johnston wrote that the media reports alleging CCP election meddling in the 2019 and 2021 federal elections sometimes gave a “false” picture of what was going on.
“When viewed in full context with all of the relevant intelligence, several leaked materials that raised legitimate questions turn out to have been misconstrued in some media reports, presumably because of the lack of this context,” observed Johnston.
Johnston’s shot at the media came response to a worker with Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) having leaked information regarding CCP meddling to the Globe and Mail and Global News, which has resulted in multiple news reports.
The potential interference by foreign agents has many Canadians concerned, especially considering Trudeau’s past praise for China’s “basic dictatorship” and his labeling of the dictatorial nation as his favorite country other than his own.
As for Trudeau, on Tuesday he defended Johnston’s report and said there would be no public inquiry.
“The work has led him to conclude that, and I quote, ’the elections of 2019 and 2021, who were well protected by sophisticated mechanisms and there is no basis to have a lack of confidence in their results,’” Trudeau stated Tuesday.
Johnston has close ties to Trudeau family
Trudeau appointed Johnston as an “independent special rapporteur” to investigate the allegations that China was meddling in Canada’s elections in March of this year. Of note is that Johnston is a known “family friend” of the Trudeaus.
He made the appointment under mounting pressure to investigate the alleged CCP interference, and said at the time he would be appointing the “rapporteur” in lieu of a public inquiry which MPs from all opposition parties had requested.
Johnston served as Governor-General, the British monarchy’s representative, from 2010 to 2017. Although he was appointed by former Conservative Party of Canada Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Johnston has longstanding ties to Trudeau and his family.
In fact, when Johnston stepped down in 2017 as Governor General, Trudeau referred to him as a “family friend.”
Johnston had also recalled fondly his close relationship with the Trudeau family in media interviews before he was appointed “special rapporteur.”
Johnston was listed as a member of the Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation, whose entire board of directors and CEO and president resigned last month after a report surfaced detailing how the non-profit group received a $200,000 donation that was alleged to be connected to the CCP.
After the scandal broke, his name disappeared from its website.
Opposition parties blast Johnston’s report and demand public inquiry
Pierre Poilievre, leader of the official opposition Conservative Party of Canada (CPC), blasted Johnston’s report, claiming Trudeau’s “ski buddy” was simply doing his bidding to whitewash CCP interference in Canada.
“Today we’ve learned that Justin Trudeau’s ski buddy, a member of the Trudeau Foundation, is trying to camouflage Beijing’s interference in our elections,” Poilievre said to the media at a press conference yesterday.
Poilievre demanded that there be a “full public inquiry” and said one would occur “when I’m prime minister.”
“We know that Beijing paid $140,000 to the Trudeau Foundation in an attempt to influence and buy Justin Trudeau’s favor,” noted Poilievre.
“We know that Beijing has interfered in two elections to secure the Liberal party’s victory and elect Justin Trudeau.”
Poilievre then took a shot at Johnston and his ties to the Trudeau family.
“We know that Justin Trudeau appointed his family friend, his ski buddy, his cottage neighbor and a member of the Trudeau Foundation and appointed him to help hide these facts, and that’s exactly what has happened today,” he said.
He then said that what is needed in Canada is a “foreign interference registry,” to “expose all people who are paid by Beijing or other dictatorships to manipulate our democracy. That is just common sense.”
“We will continue to push for a real foreign influence registry that exposes anyone who does paid work on behalf of a foreign dictatorship to manipulate our politics,” noted Poilievre.
Leader of the New Democratic Party (NDP) Jagmeet Singh, whose party formed an informal partnership with the Trudeau Liberals to help Trudeau stay in power, also demanded that a “public inquiry” be had, but stopped short of saying he would trigger an election with a no-confidence vote.
“I think Mr. Johnston was wrong here. I respect his work, but I think he’s wrong not to declare a public inquiry,” said Singh to reporters on Tuesday.
“I will also let the prime minister know we’ve got tools and we’re going to use all those tools at our disposal to continue to push for a public inquiry.”
A reporter asked Singh if one of his “tools” is “triggering an election?”
To this question, Singh replied, “That’s not a decision we’re making today.”
As for Johnston, in speaking to the media, he claimed that he was “not biased” in his report considering his close ties to the Trudeau family, which he tried to downplay as not being that big of a deal.
In recent weeks, the depths of CCP meddling in Canadian politics have reached a breaking point.
Last week, Conservative Canadian MP Michael Chong disclosed that he has been personally threatened multiple times by what he believes are agents of Communist China and said he had to call the police due to safety concerns.
A few weeks ago, it was revealed that he and his family were targets of spying and intimidation tactics by a now-expelled Chinese diplomat who worked in Canada for the Communist Chinese government.
Recently, retired Canadian spy Michel Juneau-Katsuya said that anyone involved in Communist China’s meddling in Canada’s elections and government affairs should get “jail” time and not just a slap on the wrist, adding that such actions are a form of treason.
On May 9, the communist government of China expelled a Canadian diplomat in direct retaliation after Canada ejected the Chinese consul who was implicated in spying on Chong and his family.
The CCP said that as a “reciprocal countermeasure in reaction to Canada’s unscrupulous move,” it declared “Jennifer Lynn Lalonde, consul of the Consulate General of Canada in Shanghai, persona non grata.”